James Forte

James Paul Forte was identified on February 10, 2022, as the lead suspect in the March 18, 1964 rape and murder of 9-year-old Marise Ann Chiverella in Hazelton, Pennsylvania. The case has been cleared by exception due to the death of Forte.

Chiverella had been abducted by an unknown man while walking to school. She was raped and strangled. Her body was found in a waste coal pit later that day.

DNA was collected from semen found on Chiverella’s jacket. The FGG investigation was conducted by Eric Schubert, a history student at Elizabethtown College, and his company ES Genealogy. Schubert, a practitioner of genetic genealogy since he was a young boy, volunteered his time to build out the offender’s family trees. One family member, who is a state police captain in New Jersey, provided DNA to help narrow the field, and other family members provided family research that they had performed. The final confirmation was made by exhuming Forte’s body in January of 2022 and comparing his DNA with that found at the crime scene.

Forte died in May of 1980 at the age of about 39 – 16 years after killing Marise. He was about 22 years old at the time of the murder. Forte had been convicted of sexual assault in 1974, and served a year on probation.


Bonvillian, Crystal. “College Genealogist, DNA Help Solve 57-Year-Old Rape, Murder of 9-Year-Old Pennsylvania Girl.” KIRO 7 News, February 11, 2022. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://www.kiro7.com/news/trending/college-genealogist-dna-help-solve-57-year-old-rape-murder-9-year-old-pennsylvania-girl/4SY2QWPHMZHGLDT5U34NJJLZNE/.

Reilly, Patrick. “DNA and College Student Help Solve 1964 Rape and Murder of 9-Year-Old Girl.” New York Post, February 10, 2022. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://nypost.com/2022/02/10/dna-college-student-help-solve-64-rape-and-murder-of-girl/.

Rubinkam, Michael. “Police Solve 1964 Rape, Murder of Girl with DNA.” ABC News, February 10, 2022. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/police-solve-1964-rape-murder-girl-dna-volunteer-82806195.


First Name James
Last Name Forte
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2022-02-10
IGG Org ES Genealogy


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1646 Marise Chiverella 9 1964-03-18 Hazelton, PA Pennsylvania SP Second degree murder Case was cleared by exception due to death of perpetrator n/a

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.